House passes tax reform legislation as Senate bill faces hurdles

Photo: U.S. Capitol Visitor Center via CNN Wire

WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed major tax reform legislation along party lines, advancing a key agenda item for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans.

The vote was 227-205.

The House plan seeks to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent down to 20 percent. It also will double the standard deduction for individuals and families, while eliminating the state and local tax deductions known as SALT.

Congressmen from some high tax states said eliminating the SALT deductions unfairly hurts their constituents.

“We donate $48 billion more to the federal government than we get back. We get 79 cents back on the dollar, unlike states like South Carolina that get $1.35 back on the dollar,” said New York lawmaker Peter King.

Getting tax reform through the House is one thing, but the margin for passage in the Senate is much tighter and at least one Republican is now saying he’ll vote no.

“I wouldn’t vote for this Senate version, bottom line,” said Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. “There is a real problem here in terms of the equitable treatment of pass through entities.”

He also said he’s opposed to the current Senate plan because he says it benefits larger corporations more than small businesses.

Republican Senator Susan Collins is not happy that the Senate bill includes the repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate saying “adding a healthcare issue to the tax bill does not make sense.”

Collins has not yet said how she will vote.

Senators Bob Corker and John McCain have also expressed concerns about the Senate tax plan, but have declined to say how they would vote.

The Senate will not vote on its version of tax reform until after Thanksgiving.